combat writing badge C O M B A T
the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones
ISSN 1542-1546 Volume 03 Number 01 Winter ©Jan 2005

Prayer of the Pharisee

      I thank thee God, as here I stand
      a Christian in a Christian land
      where other faiths are minor schisms,
      heaven and hell but euphemisms,
      and piety perfunctory.
      I thank thee for democracy
      where everyone is all the same
      excluding those with foreign name;
      where prejudice is seen as cruel
      except in housing, work and school.
      I thank thee for Dow Jones' power
      that made all other systems cower,
      where English is the common speech
      and Internet is within reach
      to waste away another day.
      You've kept most illnesses at bay
      with madness just a minor worry,
      anxiety but transitory;
      for every pain and ache, a pill,
      along with conscience, ethics, will.
      And I thank you, Oh Lord sublime,
      for giving me the gift of time
      to woo and wed repeatedly,
      conceiving offsprings frequently,
      fecundate birth to bloat the earth.
      And finally you've shown the worth
      of guns and tanks and planes that soar
      assuring us a winning war.
      And though some die on foreign strand,
      It's not my fault, as here I stand.

by Beth Staas
... who is the widow of a WWII Air Corps Cadet and the sister of a German POW of that same war. She has recently retired from teaching at Waubonsee Community College, and has posted some of her compositions and a usage guide on her website. She has published two novels, The Two Percent Miracle and An Audience of One; and works in more than two dozen periodicals, including Success, Entrepreneur, Southwest Airlines, Lady's Circle, Chicago Tribune, and Barrister. Her work has previously appeared in this magazine, where she is also a contributing editor.